Friday, August 31, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday -- Twins Having Fun!

Me, my twin and my brother --
evidently, he didn't get the joke!!

the long road

Thursday, August 23, 2012

The First Day

Maddy had her first day as a 5th grader on Monday.

You'll be happy to know that she survived.
Although I think she didn't want to exactly say it out loud,
she was nervous.  
Each new school year brings a bit of anxiety.   
This year was a little more difficult as neither of her two best girlfriends
are in her classroom.
  She'll see them before school and at recess, so that helps.

 Knowing that it might be a challenging first day,
we spent the weekend before school started doing lots of her favorite things!
She had one of her best friends sleepover on Saturday night.
Lots of whispering and giggling!
Then, after Mass on Sunday, we went to Starbucks! 
That may, in fact,  be one of my favorite things,
 but she likes it too and expanded her horizon in trying their
marble pound cake (yum -- i had to have a bite!)
 since they were all out of her favorite cinnamon crumb coffeecake.
Later, we went to the zoo and rode that silly camel again!


We went shopping together and she bought a new book --
one of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books --
We starting reading it together Sunday night and
finished it (all 217 pages) in 3 days reading it together in the evenings.
Can I just say here that I love reading out loud with her!
I know it sounds kind of dorky, but it's so fun for both of us.
And even though I thought it would be super to go out to eat, 
we stayed home and I made her fave for dinner --
 homemade tacos!
It's been a long time since I was in 5th grade, but I haven't forgotten
how scary the first day can be.  And that 10-1/2 is a hard age --
almost ready to be more grown up, but still hating to leave the
comfort and security of home.

Gosh, it's taken me this long to figure out that raising kids is a
balancing act,  isn’t it.  Encouraging independence and a sense of
resourcefulness, but also being there for comfort and
emotional support.  Wanting to keep her close,
but also to give her a little nudge,
letting go and watching her fly . . . 
a little.

A favorite oldie!


Monday, August 20, 2012

More KC Fun!

We didn't spend all our time in Kansas City at the American Girl* store,
but we could have --
 I wish I could open one nearby!!

Sit back and relax --
 this post has loads of photos!

Maddy and I also hit some hot spots around Crown Center. 
 Mr. Tennis was horse-hunting -- yes, I said
horse-hunting, not house-hunting! 

He wanted to bring this home, but I put the ixnay on that idea!

We loved our location - Crown Center! 
And if we had done a little research ahead
of time, we would have participated in the Race for the Cure
that was going on that Sunday morning! 
What crowds!!

The race was winding down -
can you imagine how many people participated!

Maddy and I visited SeaLife (across the street from our hotel) --
what a cool place!  Afterwards, we both declared our favorites
from the SeaLife exhibits to be the Seahorses -- oh my word --
they were so adorable!!
Also saw a gigantic disgusting green eel! 

From a distance, we thought this guy was real!
Nope -- made of Legos!
Also hit Legoland and wished that had been there when Philip and Connor were
young as they loved Legos. 
But, those Lego projects can be sooooooo tricky
and some kids (not saying who!) insisted that the
 finished project be exactly like the one depicted on the box!! 
  Might have caused a few headaches (for me) as I recall.  

Another Lego creation!

There were a couple of crazy fun rides in there, but otherwise,
Maddy and I deemed it for kids
 younger than 10 years old and and more for boys!

I could probably put together a Lego giraffe!!

We tried and loved the Crayola Cafe!! 
 Fries just like Steak 'n Shake's she said --we miss that place so much!

I did force Mr. Tennis to take a couple photos
of me to prove I was also there! 

Seemed to take forever for him to snap a photo!!
We girls were getting restless!

We had so much fun that Maddy even said later that it was as much fun
 as DisneyWorld!!
 Wow -- that's really a compliment!!

Dancing fountains!

Next up ---
Fifth Grade here she comes!!

Looking so grown up - isn't she! 
Slow down already!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bloggy Worlds Collide!

Can you say roadtrip? 
Can you guess where to?
I don't know about you, but I have "met" and become friends
 with some of the very nicest people through blogland. 
Seriously, you all know how much your friendship
(virtual and real)
means to me, right?
 If you don't, please know that many times you and your blogs
 make me smile,
 tear up and want to reach out and give you a hug.
Maddy and Allison at the AG store -- figuring out what hair treatments to get for the girls!

Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a blog friend -- in real life!!  
 Mr. Tennis, Maddy and I headed to Kansas City on vacation.
  Mr. Tennis was asking what was planned for the first day after our
 arrival and I informed him that we would be meeting up
 with Laurie, Scott,
Allison and Aaron, of course!
They are the sweetest family ever and we were so happy to meet them.
The kids had so much fun and so did the grownups!

Allison, Maddy and their girls!

We girls planned the meeting and informed the guys just what we would be
doing and it included shopping and eating --
two of my very favorite activities!!
To say that Maddy was in heaven hanging out with Allison at
the AG store is a bit of an understatement!

Mr. Tennis, Aaron and Scott

It was a blast getting to know them a little better.
And, we can't wait for them to come to Lincoln for some Go Big Red fun!!  
It's almost football season you know!

Me and Laurie

Friday, August 10, 2012

Favorite Photo Friday - What a "Croc"

On our recent trip to the zoo,
the animals were all acting out!!

The crocs were grinning
and making plans for a bite out!

The Flamingos were doing their balancing thing!


The penguins were squawking up a storm!

The llamas were having bad hair days
 (I know their pain!)!!

And then,
we rode backwards on the train in the very last seat!

It was a messed up, mixed up,
 fun day!
Happy Weekend!

the long road

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Flower Power

Because it's Wednesday and I could use a bright pink flower --
here's my neighbor's hibiscus!

Isn't it lovely! 

Yes, I am one of those copycat neighbors
 and planting one in my yard soon!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Snapshot - A Quiet Moment

Usually, Miss Maddy is dancing and posing and being silly,
 but somehow, I managed to capture her in a quiet moment
on a hot evening last week. 

 Actually, steamy hot and hotter has been our weather for the past
 couple of months, but there was a breeze that evening. 

The summer is zooming by fast! 
 Maddy has been out in the sun so much
that her hair now has some beautiful brown auburn streaks in it. 
She's my sweet, thoughtful, beautiful girl and this is the
summer she was 10.



Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lions And Tigers And . . . Camels?

Maddy and Leo the Lion
Remember my summer bucket list? 
Guess what - we checked  
off the list!

Yes, we did!
And not in some exotic location as you might expect,
 but in sweet little Lincoln, Nebraska!
I had heard our local zoo had camel rides this summer,
but due to the extreme heat,
we were spending most of our weekends checking “swim at the pool”
off the list.

BUT – there was a cool front last weekend and
the temp was only in the 90’s –
so Maddy and I headed off to the zoo.

After we entered, we skipped all other animals and
 made a beeline to the camels as we were certain
there would be a long line of riders waiting for a turn. 

Nope, not a one. 

So, we picked out the best looking camel there, Leonardo,
and we both climbed on. 
 Ha ha – I fooled Maddy as she didn’t think I would do it!
 (Really, had I known that my bottom would be
featured in the photo below
 taken by one of the camel wranglers,
 I would have insisted on sitting in front!)

You know how I wrote so eloquently that
riding a horse is like riding the sky in an earlier post? 

Well, riding a camel is kind of  like riding the sky -
a big thunderstorm in the sky --  
very bumpy!